Modern Drama

Modern drama began by turning toward realism and away from the fantasy of
nineteenth-century melodrama and farce. Realism gave rise to various innovations that
served to express the dramatist's vision of what reality is. These attempts to be " more
real than real" can be called expressionism. Realism and expressionism are the two
dominant modes of drama in the twentieth century. One focuses on the external details of
everyday life, while the other focuses on the mind and feelings and tries to show how
The word drama comes from the Greek word dran, which means "to do" or "to
act". Besides being traditionally literary, the drama is a theatrical form. Dramatist do not
usually write with the purpose of communicating directly to the reader, as do fiction
writers, poets, and essayists. Instead, dramatists ask people of the theater-actors and
actresses, directors, set designers, and others- to assist them in communicating to the
audience. Good dramatists are aware of the resources and limitations of their medium.
They recognize that they must tell their stories in a different way from novelists.
Dramatists attempt to construct meaningful works in two ways: by the precise and
evocative use of words, and by careful attention to basic structure.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, in writing a treatise based on the plays of his
time (the fifth century B.C.), defined drama as " an imitation of an action," a definition
which has become the basis for most subsequent dramatic criticism. To take the last word
first, by action Aristotle meant not merely activity or exertion, but rather the direction the
play moves in, the closely related series of events that give the play its momentum. A
play, in Aristotle's terms, must have a plot with a beginning, middle,


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